Last night, I decided to return to one of my favorite shows pre-Jonah: Call the Midwife. I was in the middle of the 5th season when Jonah was diagnosed with heart block, and I had to stop watching. I just love the show, but it was so triggering!
For those unfamiliar with Call the Midwife, it’s a (really good) show on PBS. Wikipedia says it’s a “BBC period drama series about a group of nurse midwives working in the East End of London in the late 1950s and early 1960s”.
So, naturally, it’s full of babies. Babies, real depictions of giving birth…triggers everywhere. I loved it before Jonah got sick, but have been to afraid to return to watching it, for obvious reasons. Last night, though, I don’t know how, but I decided I was brave enough to watch it. It may have been the couple glasses of wine…but I did. And you know what?
I laughed. I cried. And I loved it.
It’s crazy how your experiences in life color everything so vividly. Before Jonah, I just watched the show as a delicious drama that made me feel all the feels, and dream of having a baby myself. Now, I’m suddenly noticing how real this show is. It’s not just a bunch of amazing, happy stories of moms having babies. In fact, in one of the episodes I watched last night, a mom had a baby that was incompatible with life and she had to say goodbye.
That was really, really hard to watch. It brought me back to that day…the day I held Jonah in my arms for the first and last time. I don’t often cry when watching TV or movies, but obviously this one got me. The tears were rolling.
So, why would I put myself through that, and then declare that I still love the show? Well, like I said, it’s so real. It tackles infertility, complications of birth, breastfeeding, stillbirth, birth defects, mental illness, connection between mom and baby…and of course, perfectly healthy babies as well.
And, that’s life. Trying to conceive is messy. Pregnancy is messy.
Life is messy.
It’s not perfect for everyone. Everyone has something – something they’re up against. A mountain that they have to climb. For me, my mountains are the stillbirth of my son, the early and unexpected death of my mom, and my anxiety. Everyone’s mountains are different. Some of us share common mountains, but every mountain is unique in some way.
That’s why I’m still going to watch Call the Midwife. I’m going to feel pain when mothers have complications. I’m going to be joyful yet envious when healthy babies are born. I’ll probably cry many times. But you know what? Again, that’s life. Life is having feelings, and some things help me let my feelings out. Maybe this show is one of those things.
Call the Midwife is helping me take a couple steps up my stillbirth mountain by guiding me through the feelings I have to have about pregnancy and birth in order to move forward in my grief. That’s why I still love it.
Note: If you’re massively triggered by pregnancy/birth, Call the Midwife may not be for you. Grief is so unique…what works for me doesn’t necessarily work for everyone!